So that’s it. Another Balloon Fiesta has come and gone; Bristol has enjoyed hazy late-summer skies filled with hot air balloons for one more year. Ever since moving to Bristol 8 years ago I have never tired of the sight of a hot air balloon. Living in the South of the City they are a regular occurrence, but that hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm for them in the slightest.
So, imagine my joy when I was invited to take part in Red Letter Day’s bucket list campaign and go on a flight… at the fiesta!
For the uninitiated, the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta takes part in early August every year, and is the largest of its kind in the world. The whole shindig is completely free, and has plenty of fun for the whole family. Over the four days, Ashton Court fills with music, crafts, fireworks and entertainment, not forgetting the now-famous Nightglow.
My flight was booked for the 6am ascent on Friday morning. I would say that getting up at that time in the morning is difficult, but we’re pros at this thing now; we make a regular habit of attending the morning ascents. The early start was made slightly more palatable by copious amounts of free coffee in the members’ enclosure 💁.
I can’t really describe to you what it’s like flying in a hot air balloon. After the initial heart-sinking-to-your-stomach sickness at realising you’re 1000ft in the air, it’s incredibly calming. Floating amongst the tops of the trees, it was completely silent, save for the odd blast of hot air and our very chatty pilot.
We were up in the air for just over an hour, eventually landing in a playing field in Warmley. It was so lush to see young families still in their pyjamas spill out of their homes and gaze up as dozens of balloons came back down to Earth.
I made a little vlog of my morning, take a peek below!
A massive, massive thanks to Red Letter Days for inviting me to be a part of this amazing experience, and to Bailey Balloons for having me on their flight.